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*OFFICIAL* Plymouth Whalers 2012-2013 Season Thread

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09-23-2012, 11:44 PM
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hockeyisforeveryone
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*OFFICIAL* Plymouth Whalers 2012-2013 Season Thread

So I'm guessing we have the smallest fanbase at (OHL) HF Boards?

Went to the home opener against Belleville and was surprised how many seats were vacant...I was the only one in my row at one point, entire sections looked empty! There couldn't have been more than 2000 people there...Oh well I am hooked, will try and catch every home game this season (I live 25 min. away), especially without my HNIC.

The game went to overtime but by the middle of the 3rd both teams looked gassed...Do you think the players' conditioning improves through the season?

My favorite player is A. Aleardi. He's local, small, but plays with a lot of courage/energy. From a distance something about him looks like Patrick Kane. I see he's a veteran as a 20 yr. old, what will likely happen to him after this season? Hartman is also going to be fun to watch as a rookie.

What are other Whalers fans noticing about this team?

Anyways massive respect to the OHL and its fans. I've seen a few games in the past but last night really caught on to the vibrations...I had dreams about hockey after the game and reading from the arena guide linked from this forum...you catch this vibe and it's like a bomb has dropped, realizing how elite is the hockey some of us have right in the backyard!


Last edited by hockeyisforeveryone: 09-24-2012 at 12:32 AM.
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09-24-2012, 06:42 AM
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First of all, welcome to the OHL - you've found the reason we all love junior hockey so much!

Attendance varies in Plymouth, but early in the season most teams don't sell out. Later in the season, weekend games are better.

Aleardi is fun to watch, isn't he? I love his speed. After this season, he could be signed as a free agent with an AHL team, could play in Europe, or may use his CHL education package and go to university. I wouldn't be surprised to see him signed as a free agent.

The Whalers are always competitive; they're a well run organization and very well coached. They usually start the season off a bit slow but then gain momentum as the season progresses.

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09-26-2012, 02:47 PM
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Came into the OHL forum looking for the official Plymouth Whalers thread, almost second guessed if they were even in the OHL lol.

I'm with Hockey, I live about 40 minutes away and plan on attending some games but would like to know some players to watch. Any help would be appreciated.

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09-27-2012, 09:00 AM
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Whalers season ticket holder and longtime HFBoards lurker here. As Charlie mentioned, attendance is usually lower in the first half of the season. Once college and high school football seasons are over, though, it will usually pick up. If the NHL lockout runs very long, it will also probably help attendance -- it did during the last work stoppage.

As for players to watch, Drake, the team has four former NHL first round draft picks on the roster (although J.T. Miller is currently in an AHL camp). Stephan Noesen is a big forward with a nice scoring touch, and will probably end up leading the team in scoring. Alex Aleardi is probably the most exciting to watch, as he is usually the fastest skater on the ice and will make some exciting rushes.

I fear that goaltending will be the team's Achilles heal. Mahalak has never had to carry the team, and looks very shaky at times. The team will clearly miss Wedgewood. It will be interesting to see if Vellucci makes a move here.

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09-27-2012, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Whalers Fan View Post
Whalers season ticket holder and longtime HFBoards lurker here. As Charlie mentioned, attendance is usually lower in the first half of the season. Once college and high school football seasons are over, though, it will usually pick up. If the NHL lockout runs very long, it will also probably help attendance -- it did during the last work stoppage.

As for players to watch, Drake, the team has four former NHL first round draft picks on the roster (although J.T. Miller is currently in an AHL camp). Stephan Noesen is a big forward with a nice scoring touch, and will probably end up leading the team in scoring. Alex Aleardi is probably the most exciting to watch, as he is usually the fastest skater on the ice and will make some exciting rushes.

I fear that goaltending will be the team's Achilles heal. Mahalak has never had to carry the team, and looks very shaky at times. The team will clearly miss Wedgewood. It will be interesting to see if Vellucci makes a move here.
I think their defence is the achilles heal,was a part of the problem last yr depth wise,the loss of Schmitz,Levi and Trutman is huge

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09-27-2012, 11:04 AM
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I think their defence is the achilles heal,was a part of the problem last yr depth wise,the loss of Schmitz,Levi and Trutman is huge
It's a matter of semantics, but I would classify their defense as more of an unknown at this point. Last season, the defense was definitely the main cause of the team's poor playoff showing. There are a lot of new faces this season, and Vellucci focused on acquiring talent in this area during the offseason. Whether the new players are an improvement remains to be seen.

Mahalak, though, is a very well known commodity in net. He fights the puck at times, and also gets himself out of position. I think the team needs to upgrade here if it wants to make a run at the OHL title.

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09-27-2012, 12:12 PM
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Do they still wear these? Because they're one of the best uniforms in hockey.

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09-27-2012, 12:31 PM
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Do they still wear these? Because they're one of the best uniforms in hockey.
They do wear the green jerseys occasionally, but usually opt for the blue jerseys when they are wearing the dark colors at home.

They did wear them on St. Patrick's Day last season. This is a shot I took of Scott Wedgewood at that game:


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09-27-2012, 12:46 PM
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Compuware Arena is among the worst arenas in the OHL. It's capacity is also quite low as far as OHL arenas go.

There seems to be a good crowd whenever the Spitfires are in town as a lot of people from Windsor cross the border and take the 20 minute drive. It has been standing room only for most Plymouth/Windsor games that I've been to.

It's a shame that Plymouth's games against other teams don't attract as large of crowds. Plymouth is a very well run team, always competitive, and always has a good product on the ice to watch.

I think a lot of the problem is that they play in the shadow of the Red Wings and a lot of Metro Detroiters don't even know that the Whalers exist. Hopefully with the NHL lockout, more people discover how great OHL hockey is.

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09-27-2012, 12:57 PM
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I think a lot of the problem is that they play in the shadow of the Red Wings and a lot of Metro Detroiters don't even know that the Whalers exist. Hopefully with the NHL lockout, more people discover how great OHL hockey is.
It's not just the Wings that the team has to compete with. The area is home to teams in all four major professional team sports, as well as two major colleges. In the autumn, if Michigan, Michigan State and the Lions are all at home, there are a quarter of a million fans attending those three football games alone.

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09-27-2012, 01:23 PM
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They do wear the green jerseys occasionally, but usually opt for the blue jerseys when they are wearing the dark colors at home.

They did wear them on St. Patrick's Day last season. This is a shot I took of Scott Wedgewood at that game:

Ya, the new RBK Edge version isn't as nice, but it is still great.

I am hoping to make the trip to Plymouth (and Saginaw too) one day to see either the Knights or Generals when they're in town.

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09-30-2012, 07:58 AM
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Mahalak looked a little better last night against Sudbury. He still was way out of position on Sudbury's 2nd goal, but did not appear to be fighting the puck like he did last weekend.

Also had a decent crowd -- over 3,100.

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09-30-2012, 11:15 PM
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Mahalak looked a little better last night against Sudbury. He still was way out of position on Sudbury's 2nd goal, but did not appear to be fighting the puck like he did last weekend.

Also had a decent crowd -- over 3,100.
Yes Mahalak looked real confident. There were some shorthanded situations early and he held us in it. Real good showing and I kinda felt he was the star of the game.

True also with the crowd, it looked double that of the last week.

Man I really see why Rakell and Wilson are so touted, they just dominate because of their bigger size! Not to mention they're tough, skilled players.

The players commented they worked hard and I agree it showed. Good hustle by everybody. They made Sudbury look weeeeeak.... I can't imagine if Hartman was in and we had Vanderweil, Noeson and Aleardi after the 1st.

Any news on what happened to those guys?

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10-01-2012, 06:58 AM
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I can't imagine if Hartman was in and we had Vanderweil, Noeson and Aleardi after the 1st.

Any news on what happened to those guys?
I read that Vanderweil was injured, but there was no word on Aleardi or Noesen. We did see Noesen above the press box where the extra players sit during the game, so he couldn't have been hurt too bad -- or he wouldn't have been able to climb the ladder to get up there.

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10-07-2012, 09:17 AM
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After blowing Friday's game in Guelph by allowing the winning goal with 4 seconds left, Plymouth put together a solid game last night at home vs. Niagara. The team skated well, won the battles for loose pucks, and (with one exception) played solid defense. They looked impressive.

Rookie goalie Riley Corbin made his first OHL appearance, and looked very good. He stayed in position, and looked comfortable while handling the shots. He did not let in any bad goals. The only criticism is that he struggled in handling the puck, making two huge clearing pass errors that luckily did not result in goals.

Most of the playeers missing from last Saturday were back. Vanderweil was still an injury scratch, and J.T. Miller is still in the AHL, but everyone else was back. I'm not sure what was up with Noesen and Aleardi being pulled partway through last Saturday's game -- maybe a disciplinary action? Both played well last night, though.

Congrats to coach Mike Vellucci on earning his 400th career win!

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10-07-2012, 03:45 PM
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I did find out last week Aleardi was very sick for the Sudbury game, but he looked 100% last night.

Excellent team performance overall...the shots were not indicative of how completely dominant the Whalers were. The defense was composed and made quick plays out of the zone seem easy.

Yea Corbin got the win but I thought he was a little shaky. A few of those goals were kinda soft. I shouldn't pick on him though, was a good debut.

The Whalers are bad boys!!! Looking at the standing the teams they are crushing are also winning. Not to get over-confident, but I want to see a team that can honestly defeat the Whalers. I feel like it's a really good time to have jumped aboard.

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10-07-2012, 08:40 PM
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Thanks for the info on Aleardi. It makes sense now why he was pulled the previous weekend. Maybe Noesen was suffering from the same illness?

I didn't think the goals Riley let in were soft. The first was on a perfect setup on an odd-man rush, the 2nd appeared to be deflected (but I could be wrong on that), and the 3rd was on a defensive breakdown that left the scorer all alone in front of the net.

Don't get too confident yet, hockeyisforeveryone. Last year's team was loaded, including excellent goalie Scott Wedgewood, yet they were a disappointment in the playoffs. It's a long season, and there are several quality teams in the West. The Whalers have the talent to win the title, but so do many other teams.

One thing you can be certain of, though, is that Vellucci will do everything he can to prepare the team for success.

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10-08-2012, 10:07 AM
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Noesen and Aleardi weren't suffering from any illness against Sudbury. They were arguing on the bench so got sent to the showers.

As for last nights game, Corbin had a great debut and it was fun to watch the team play well against a tough Niagara team after a stunning loss in Guelph.

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10-11-2012, 07:36 AM
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I see that overage defenseman Austin Levi returned to the Whalers and was in the lineup last night in the loss to Owen Sound. I did not know that Austin was expected back. That should help Plymouth's defense.

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10-13-2012, 08:07 PM
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I see that overage defenseman Austin Levi returned to the Whalers and was in the lineup last night in the loss to Owen Sound. I did not know that Austin was expected back. That should help Plymouth's defense.
That Karlsson guy who is your new dman should be a beauty too. The D should be the strength of your team esoecially with Mahalak in net. Not getting Miller back will hurt but it seems a lot of teams lost some key guys to the AHL. Tough start for the Whale but they will be near the top by the end of the season thats for sure.

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10-14-2012, 01:05 AM
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...Don't get too confident yet, hockeyisforeveryone. Last year's team was loaded, including excellent goalie Scott Wedgewood, yet they were a disappointment in the playoffs. It's a long season, and there are several quality teams in the West. The Whalers have the talent to win the title, but so do many other teams....
Yes WF having lost the last 3 games, I have underestimated the Whalers opponents (and getting snakebit by hot goaltending). Didn't see the last road games but reading sounded like they were again heavily dominant in shots but weren't rewarded with wins.

Now after last night I can say after seeing with my own eyes: the Soo are a great team! Very worthy opponents and evenly matched game. The Greyhounds created a lot of problems for us, causing several bad penalties. The Hounds have great breakout movement into and through neutral ice, created chances by tough forechecking and top notch puck control. Broll and Cousins were scary good! I was surprised to witness a team outshoot the Whalers. Halfway through the 2nd the game was all Soo IMO. Whalers were kind of holding on for dear life.

Aleardi was fantastic, a whole next level above any of his teammates as far as drive and fight. Several times he wildly rushed straight to the net with the puck creating some sick chances. I would have liked to see the same hustle from some of the other bigger guys.

Sure hope for some better outcomes in the next week, we won't be able to see them at home for 2 weeks. Lets Go Whalers!!!

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10-16-2012, 09:02 PM
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That Karlsson guy who is your new dman should be a beauty too. The D should be the strength of your team esoecially with Mahalak in net. Not getting Miller back will hurt but it seems a lot of teams lost some key guys to the AHL. Tough start for the Whale but they will be near the top by the end of the season thats for sure.
I am excited to see Karlsson when Plymouth returns from their long road trip -- we were out of town for last Saturday's "pink out" game.

While miller's absence is disappointing, it was not unexpected. He did not sign with the Whalers last year until after the NHL draft in order to keep his AHL options open this year, so this was a known possibility.

Hopefully Plymouth gets their act together soon. I wouldn't be surprised if Vellucci makes a deal for a goalie before the trade deadline -- similar to getting Neuvirth for the 2007 title run.

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10-19-2012, 09:11 AM
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Possible Trades?

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....Hopefully Plymouth gets their act together soon. I wouldn't be surprised if Vellucci makes a deal for a goalie before the trade deadline -- similar to getting Neuvirth for the 2007 title run.
You think they'll make a change in net? But who would they get. Sounds like they have too many defensemen and not enought high-end forwards. Can you imagine 2 or three more Aleardis?

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10-19-2012, 09:33 AM
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not enough high end forwards? I hope you are kidding?? let's see...noesen, wilson, rackell, aleardi, meurs. Add to that Hartman, who once he gets more comfortable in the league is going to be great. Then there is Payne who is also playing unexpectadly well. they have come up against first star goal tending the last few games. Once this team gets going...there will be no stopping them.

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10-19-2012, 01:17 PM
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You think they'll make a change in net? But who would they get. Sounds like they have too many defensemen and not enought high-end forwards. Can you imagine 2 or three more Aleardis?
I have to agree with gowhalers -- they have enough offensive fire power right now. If J.T. Miller had returned from the AHL or Mitchell Heard had returned, they would be overloaded.

As for Aleardi, while he is exciting, I would rather have more players like Noesen, or have Miller back. Alex has improved his game a lot since Plymouth traded for him a couple of years ago, but he is still a one dimensional player. Noesen, on the other hand, reminds me a little of former Whaler James Neal -- a big forward with a nice scoring touch.

There is a reason Noesen was a first round NHL draft pick, while Aleardi is an undrafted over ager.

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